New Google Search Console Dashboard, filters, error management… The environment for New Google Webmaster and SEO is new. An overview of its main innovations.

Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools) is one of the many tools that SEO consultants use. For several months now, Google has been holding us in suspense with the promise of a completely new version of the tool. This one is finally available.

Historically, the Search Console provides information on the natural referencing of a site such as the terms that have led users to a page as well as internal links or the number of impressions, clicks, the CTR. It also makes it possible to check the correct indexing of a website, and highlights errors when passing Google robots. Finally, it makes it possible to consult the appearance of a site in search engine results pages (structured data, AMP format…). The Search Console is therefore a powerful tool for monitoring the general health of a site. However, it had limitations. For example, data older than three months could not be obtained in the research analysis. These short periods made comparisons from one year to the next, in particular, difficult.

Google has therefore decided to offer a more advanced version of the Search Console. It has been available to all users since January 2018. Google said the old version would still co-exist with the new one for an indefinite time in order to give its customers time to migrate from one to the other. Let’s now discover the main evolutions of this new opus.

Search console desboard

New dashboard

Upon arrival on the new dashboard (renamed the State), there are three blocks:

  • Performance,
  • Index coverage,
  • Improvements.

This gives us a much clearer and more precise vision of the overall health of our website. For example, in the old version, to consult the improvements recommended by Google, it was necessary to go to the tab “Appearance in search results”.

Performance Report

The new Search Console now allows you to recover data up to sixteen months in the past, compared to three months with the old version. It is also possible to filter the search analyses over several periods: 7 days, 28 days, 6 months, 12 months, or over a personalised period. Comparisons can also be made with a previous period or from one year to the next. The Search Console is thus a little closer to Google Analytics by offering much more information on the site and related searches.

Another addition: the possibility to filter the data by type of search. Thus, one can easily separate the media from the rest of the site and benefit from complete information on the relevance of images and videos.

We finally find the possibility to consult and compare impressions, clicks, CTR and average positions by queries, pages, country or even according to the devices used by the users who consult the site. The advantage is always to better target the best performing pages of a site and to be able to identify those with the lowest numbers.

google search console performance

Index Coverage

The new version of the Search Console makes it possible to have a better view of the Google index coverage with a display of indexed pages, warnings and possible problems as well as pages that have been excluded with a precision of the reason (s) for the exclusion. Also when you click on an excluded URL, Google offers several options: Test blocking by robots. txt, Explorer like Google, View as search result, Send for indexing.

Once the patch has been implemented, it is possible to click on a dedicated button that informs Google. URLs corrected and sent for re-indexing will be processed as a priority to allow the site to get back on track as quickly as possible. The new version of the Search Console also makes it possible to follow these patches and in particular the new indexations carried out immediately on the search engine. Concerning the use of sitemap, a filter has been added to extract a list of URLs determined from the sitemap and to manage the patches to make faster and easier.

search console index

AMP format

Google has added two new features related to the AMP format. The first is to improve the correction of errors in AMP page code by allowing immediate testing of the applied fixes. Once the error has been processed, you will have to inform Google by clicking on the button “Validate the patch” and if the problem persists, the webmaster will receive an instant notification. The second novelty concerning AMP is the appearance of a “validation log”. It allows you to add comments next to the corrected URL lists to keep track of the patches made.

Other novelties

With this new version, it is now possible to share Search Console reports within a team via a link. A button has been added at the top of the reports to improve the collaborative processing of problems identified by the Search Console. This sharing can be closed once the solution has been found. A reporting system has also been integrated. When Google detects an error, a problem on a site, it immediately sends an email to the webmaster.

In addition to these new possibilities, the new Search Console introduces a modernized and revamped design that makes it more attractive.